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GR ADUAT E EDUC AT ION Ha ndbook Policies & Guidelines AY 2015–2016

G R A D. C A L P O LY. E D U

California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA

Graduate Education Handbook Policies & Guidelines AY 2015–2016

Graduate Education Office 805-756-2328 Email: Website:

REV 10.1 8/28/15

TABLE OF CONTENTS Cal Poly Graduate Education Mission Statement


Introduction 4 Advising


Admissions 5

Admission to Professional Certificate Programs


International Students


Second Master’s Degree


Transfer of Units to Cal Poly


Blended Program: Bachelor + Master’s Degrees


Suspension & Re-activation of a Graduate Program


Graduate Studies


Steps to Graduation: Checklist & Forms


The Formal Study Plan


Full-Time Graduate Student Status


Enrollment in Graduate Courses


Courses Counted Towards Graduation and Credit/No Credit Grading


Advancement to Candidacy


Culminating Experience: Thesis, Project, or Exam


Culminating Experience


Thesis Requirements


Project Requirements


Thesis/Project Committee


Comprehensive Exam


Thesis Defense Checklist


Binding Options for Thesis


Thesis Author’s Rights


Digital Commons: Restricted Access to Thesis


Research Involving Special Conditions




GPA Requirements


Grade Point Calculation for Graduate Degree


Academic Probation


Academic Disqualification


Administrative Academic Disqualification


Graduation Writing Requirement


Continuous Enrollment


Leaves of Absence


The 7-Year Rule


Returning Students


Commencement 16

Spring (June) or Midyear (December)


Academic Excellence


Graduation with Distinction


June Only Commencement Awards


Criteria for Outstanding Graduate Student Award


Criteria for Outstanding Thesis Award


Blended Degree Program (BMS)


Requesting Approval for a New Blended Program


Graduate Certificate Programs


Financial Support



TA/GA Appointments

Teaching Associate


Graduate Assistant


Resident Tuition Waivers


Non-Resident Tuition Waivers


Graduate Equity Fellowships


Eligibility Criteria


Application Procedure


Graduate Presentation Awards


California Pre-Doctoral Program


Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program (CDIP)

27 27

Open University


Academic Rights & Responsibilities



Academic Dishonesty

Cal Poly Intellectual Property Policy


University Contacts & Information Resources 30

Welcome to Cal Poly. We hope your time with us will challenge you to grow professionally and enrich your life personally. We look forward to supporting you in this process and hope this handbook will be helpful. – GradEd Office Staff CAL POLY GRADUATE EDUCATION MISSION STATEMENT Achieve excellence in practice-oriented professional graduate programs which place graduates into the workforce with advanced knowledge and the leadership skills necessary to prosper in an increasingly competitive global economy. Inspire students to innovate and achieve excellence in their educational and professional career objectives.

INTRODUCTION The California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, CA has more than forty graduate programs. These programs offer Master’s degrees as well as Credentials (Education) and Graduate and Professional Certificates. For more information on Cal Poly’s Graduate Education programs, please visit our website at or contact us via email at This handbook is intended to help guide you through the many policies and processes that you must follow to complete your graduate studies. It is not the official source of rules and regulations that govern the Cal Poly campus; the University Catalog serves that purpose. If you have any recommendations for additions or corrections to this handbook, please contact the Graduate Education office at (805) 756-2328. Students themselves are ultimately responsible for the successful completion of their formal study plan and culminating experience (e.g., thesis, project, or exam), including submitting all forms in a timely manner and adhering to university, college, and department requirements related to their degree program. This also includes maintaining continuous enrollment until the completion of their degree. This handbook will assist students in achieving this goal and successfully completing their plan of study.

ADVISING Each graduate program has a designated Graduate Coordinator who advises and assists students in developing a Formal Study Plan. For a list of current Graduate Programs and designated Graduate Coordinators, please go to http://grad/students/coordinators.html. The Graduate Coordinator can help guide you through the detailed steps required to complete your degree. Contact information for Graduate Coordinators can be found on the Graduate Education website. General questions regarding Graduate Education can be emailed to the Graduate Education Office (, or an appointment can be made by calling 805-756-2328. The Graduate Education office is located in Building 52 Room E47. Our normal business hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 12:00 noon, and 1:00pm – 4:00pm.


ADMISSIONS All graduate, credential, and graduate certificate programs require students to apply through a 2-step process: a) the CSUMentor portal (; b) create an ePortfolio by following the program link on the website to Interfolio. Details regarding admission requirements and deadlines can be found at the Admissions website ( As a graduate applicant, you must have completed a four-year college course of study and hold an acceptable baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association. Applicants who completed undergraduate degree requirements on a CSU campus and graduated the preceding term are also required to complete and submit an application along with a nonrefundable application fee. Applicants for master’s degree programs may only apply to one program at a time, and the application cannot be transferred to another program. If students are denied acceptance to that program, they cannot apply to another program until 1 quarter following their initial application. Students must have completed all their undergraduate requirements before they will be accepted by Cal Poly. • The application process for graduate students is summarized below: • Visit the Cal Poly Grad Program website for the degree you are pursuing. •

Review Cal Poly’s catalog for program descriptions and requirements for degree completion.

• General admission deadlines are as follows: Fall Quarter (April 1), Winter Quarter (October 1) and Spring Quarter (February 1); however, check with individual programs as specific deadlines can vary for each program. • Submit your online application through • After your application is processed, you will be emailed instructions on accessing Cal Poly’s university portal: MyCalPoly. Applicants should access MyCalPoly to view further requirements specific to the program of application and admission status. • Transcripts, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation must also be submitted through the Interfolio website by following the link identified on the GradEd website (Prospective Students). • After all application requirements are met and final documents are received by the Admissions Office, your admissions file is submitted for consideration to the Graduate Program Coordinator. • You are notified by the Admissions Office after your file has been evaluated by the Graduate Coordinator and accepted or denied. Note that all official acceptance notifications can only come from the Admissions Office. Admission will be for a specified quarter and cannot be deferred to another quarter. The CSU advises prospective students that they must supply complete and accurate information on their application for admission along with certified transcripts of all previous academic work attempted. Failure to file complete, accurate, and authentic documents may result in denial of admission, cancellation of academic credit, suspension, or expulsion (Section 41301, Article 1.1, Title 5, California Code of Regulations).


ADMISSION TO PROFESSIONAL CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS All professional certificate applicants must file a complete application by following the Interfolio links found next to each Certificate Program. You do not have to apply through CSUMentor. Applications can be completed anytime throughout the year. Applicants must supply complete and accurate information along with unofficial transcripts of all previous academic work attempted. Contact the Cal Poly Extended Education Office if you have questions about the application process. Extended Education does not guarantee that Professional Certificate courses will be offered unless adequate enrollments are realized. Applicants for certificates involving on-line courses will not be accepted from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, and Minnesota; pending interstate distance education regulations.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS International applicants include those who hold U.S. visas as students, exchange visitors, or those in other non-immigrant classifications. As part of the California State University (CSU) system, Cal Poly must assess the academic preparation of international students and use separate requirements and application filing dates in the admission of international students. International applicants, unless from one of the exempt countries, must satisfy the English language requirement by submitting either TOEFL or IELTS exam scores with an acceptable score. It is recommended that International students complete their application by no later than March 1 and start their graduate program in the Fall Quarter. For more information visit the following link:

SECOND MASTER’S DEGREE A student can earn only one master’s degree in any one of the graduate programs offered at Cal Poly. A student who wishes to complete a second master’s degree in another discipline, or two master’s degrees simultaneously, must complete all requirements for both degrees. Of the units required in common for each degree, no more than nine quarter units of coursework may be used to satisfy requirements in both master’s degree programs. Existing dual programs in Engineering Management, Transportation Planning, Business Administration, and Engineering are the exceptions to this policy.

TRANSFER OF UNITS TO CAL POLY Up to 30 percent of the units that are applied toward satisfaction of your programs graduate curriculum requirement may be earned while in non-matriculated status, whether taken through state-supported or extended education course offerings. Up to nine units of undergraduate credits can be applied to a graduate degree provided the credits were not utilized towards the student’s undergraduate degree.

BLENDED PROGRAM: BACHELOR + MASTER’S DEGREES Blended Programs provide an accelerated route to a graduate professional degree, with the simultaneous conferring of both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Blended Programs allow for the possibility of students taking 4XX/5XX level courses during their senior year; courses that are not part of their undergraduate requirements can be applied to their graduate formal study plan. Blended Programs allow students to seamlessly progress from undergraduate to graduate status without having to apply through the Admissions Office (thereby eliminating the need to pay an application fee). Once a student has been approved by a department and the Graduate Education Office to participate in a Blended program, they should submit a Post-baccalaureate Change of Objective form (PBCO) to the Graduate Education Office during the term 6

they complete 180 degree applicable units towards their bachelor’s degree. Students must have a minimum of a 2.5 cumulative SLOCP GPA in the last 90 quarter units attempted to be accepted to a Blended program. Note: Once students are admitted to graduate standing, they must maintain a 3.0 GPA or better in courses counting toward their graduate degree Formal Study Plan. In addition, a student must be at graduate status for a minimum of 2-quarters before they can graduate.

SUSPENSION & RE-ACTIVATION OF A GRADUATE PROGRAM In the event that a College wishes to request the suspension of a graduate program, the Dean must write a memo to the Director of Graduate Education explaining the reason(s) for suspension, such as 1) lack of enrollment, 2) inability of a department to offer adequate 5XX level courses, and/or 3) inability of faculty to support thesis research. Please specify the quarter/year that the suspension should begin. The following approvals should be included in the memo: Graduate Program Coordinator, Department Chair, College Dean, Admissions, Academic Programs, Extended Education, Director of Graduate Education & Vice Provost Extended, GradEd, InterEd. The memo will serve to let all relevant parties know of the request for suspension, so they can evaluate the impact of the suspension. The Director of Graduate Education will make the final decision on approving or not approving the suspension, and all impacted departments and offices will be notified. To request considering re-activating a graduate program, please write a memo to the Director of Graduate Education indicating how the factor(s) that led to its suspension have changed. Note that a program will not be re-activated until the Graduate Director has received approvals and comments from all of the involved parties. The GradEd Director will make the final decision to approve or not approve re-activating the program.

CSU DEFINITION OF CONCURRENT, DUAL AND JOINT DEGREE PROGRAMS Concurrent Degrees: Two different degree programs from the same campus are coupled by the university for the purposes of offering complementary, learning, experiences. Students enroll simultaneously in both programs and are awarded two separate degrees upon completion of the required curriculum. Dual Degrees: Two or more institutions collaborate to provide a single degree program curriculum. The completion of which results in two or more degrees being awarded, one by each participating institution. Joint Degree: Multiple institutions collaborate to offer the curriculum required to earn a single degree that is awarded jointly by the partner institutions. Cal Poly only offers two Concurrent Degree Programs: 1) Engineering Management which is combination of MBA degree and M.S. Engineering with a specialization in Integrated Technology Management and 2) Transportation Planning which is a combination of a Master in City & Regional Planning and M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering.


GRADUATE STUDIES STEPS TO GRADUATION: CHECKLIST & FORMS Students can utilize the following checklist to help ensure they are following all the steps required to complete their graduate program:

CHECKLIST 1. Apply to Cal Poly through Admissions Office or Apply to Blended Programs through Academic Department. 2. Accepted to graduate program; attend GradEd Orientation meeting. 3. Meet with Graduate Coordinator and select a Graduate Advisor •

Determine culminating experience: Thesis, Project, or Exam.

Develop research objectives.

Identify members of evaluation committee.

4. Submit Working Formal Study Plan Form •

Must be submitted by end of 1st quarter in the program.

5. Complete Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) •

Should be fulfilled during the 1st quarter in the program.

6. Submit Advancement to Candidacy Form and Request for Graduation Evaluation Form •

Both forms must be submitted one quarter prior to the quarter that you plan to graduate. For example, if you plan to graduate in Spring Quarter, you must submit these forms by the end of Winter Quarter. For graduation in December, please submit your forms by the end of Spring Quarter.

7. Submit Final Formal Study Plan •

Must be submitted within the first 3 weeks of the beginning of the quarter in which you plan to graduate.

8. Submit Master’s Thesis / Project / Exam Approval Form once you have completed your culminating experience, by the last day of the quarter (end of final exam week) in which you intend to graduate. Refer to the Master’s Thesis Submission Process at and below for more details. Note: Each of the forms identified in the checklist (bold) should be downloaded directly from the GradEd website at to ensure they are the most current versions.

THE FORMAL STUDY PLAN Students should make an appointment with their Advisor during their first quarter of graduate courses to develop a formal program of study for the master’s degree. A Formal Study Plan is an agreement between the student and the university on the specific coursework to be completed in order to fulfill the requirements for the master’s degree (minimum 45 units). A Working Formal Study Plan must be submitted to Graduate Education for review by the end of the 1st quarter of graduate course work at Cal Poly. It is understood that 8

changes may occur to this plan as students make progress with their studies; changes to the Working Formal Study Plan do not need to be submitted to the Graduate Education Office. However, students must submit a Final Formal Study Plan within the first 3 weeks of the quarter in which they graduate that accurately reflects the courses that have been completed to satisfy their program requirements. Certain 400-series courses may be completed by the graduate student as part of the degree program when this is consistent with university requirements, departmental master’s degree specifications, and the candidate’s formal program of study. The students should always consult their Advisor to make certain that only approved courses are selected, since program requirements vary and some courses are excluded. Importantly, no fewer than half of the units required for the degree shall be 500 level. Only 400- and 500-level courses are allowed in an approved graduate plan of study. In those programs where specific courses below the 400-level may be essential for a student’s success, the student may be conditionally accepted to the program contingent upon completing those courses; Graduate Coordinator’s must confirm when all contingencies are satisfied. Courses below the 400-level may not constitute any part of the approved units in the Formal Plan of graduate study. No less than 32 quarter units of a 45-unit program must be completed while matriculated. In programs with more than 45 units, an equivalent proportion (32/45) of units must be taken while matriculated. Up to 12 quarter units of Open University courses may be requested to be applied to a graduate degree. Up to 24 quarter units of Cal Poly Profession Certificate units may be requested to be applied to a graduate degree. In addition, the following rules apply to courses included on a Formal Study Plan: •

No more than nine quarter units shall be in student teaching.

No more than nine quarter units shall be allowed for a thesis or project. These units cannot be completed through Extended Education.

No more than 12 quarter units of approved post-baccalaureate course credits may be accepted from another University for the master’s degree.

FULL-TIME GRADUATE STUDENT STATUS A full-time graduate student is defined as one taking 8 or more units in a quarter. Students receiving financial aid may need to meet different requirements to be considered full-time and should consult with the Financial Aid Office. Normally students are not permitted to enroll in more than 24 units each quarter.

ENROLLMENT IN GRADUATE COURSES To enroll in 500-level graduate courses a student must have post-baccalaureate standing, graduate standing, or the permission of the instructor. Undergraduate prerequisites are waived for 500-level courses. Note, prerequisites are not waived for 400-level courses, and you may need to get a permission number from your Graduate Coordinator or department administrator to enroll in these classes.

COURSES COUNTED TOWARDS GRADUATION AND CREDIT/NO CREDIT GRADING Only those letter-graded courses in which an A, B, or C is earned (C- is acceptable) count towards satisfying the total unit requirement for a graduate degree. Courses which are offered only on a credit/no credit basis also satisfy the unit requirement if a credit grade is earned. The equivalent of an A or a B is required to earn credit in such courses. Graduate students may elect to take courses that are not part of their formal program of study on a credit/no credit basis. 9

ADVANCEMENT TO CANDIDACY Advancement to Candidacy recognizes that the student has demonstrated the ability to sustain a level of scholarly competence that is satisfactory for successful completion of the degree requirements. The student is then cleared for the final stages of the program, which, in addition to any remaining coursework, includes the thesis, project, and/or comprehensive examination. • A Working Final Formal Study Plan has been submitted & approved. • Writing proficiency requirement (GWR) has been satisfied. • Culminating experience has been identified: thesis, project, or exam. •

If thesis, then committee members (minimum of 3) have been identified.

Form must be submitted 1 quarter before anticipated graduation date.

• Student signature in Approvals section signifies understanding of the 3.0 GPA requirement for Formal Study Plan courses and of the Continuous Enrollment Policy.

CULMINATING EXPERIENCE: THESIS, PROJECT, OR EXAM CULMINATING EXPERIENCE The culminating experience for the granting of a graduate degree is the successful completion of a thesis, project, or comprehensive examination. The quality of work accomplished, including the quality of the writing, is the major consideration in judging the acceptability of the thesis, project, or comprehensive examination. The student must successfully complete the culminating experience required by the specific program to be granted a graduate degree (CSU Title 5, Chapter 1, Subchapter 2, Article 7, 40510).

THESIS REQUIREMENTS A thesis is the written product of a systematic study of a significant problem. It identifies the problem, states the major assumptions, explains the significance of the undertaking, sets forth the sources for and methods of gathering information, analyzes the data, and offers conclusions or recommendations. The finished product evidences originality, critical and independent thinking, appropriate organization and format, and thorough documentation. Normally, an oral defense of the thesis is required. A thesis may be authored by one and only one student.

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS A project is a significant undertaking appropriate to the fine and applied arts or to professional fields. It evidences originality and independent thinking, appropriate form and organization, and a rationale. It is described and summarized in a written report that includes the project’s significance, objectives, methodology, and a conclusion or recommendation. A project may be completed by a team of students, but each student must write an individual report that reflects their contribution to the project and how it meets the standards of a master’s thesis described above. A project may be evaluated by oral defense, which must be documented. A project must be approved by a faculty advisor from the student’s program. A project may also utilize a committee to evaluate the student’s undertaking, and the committee should meet the standard articulated in the next section. 10

THESIS/PROJECT COMMITTEE The following are requirements for a thesis/project committee: 1) that the graduate student have a thesis/ project advisor (committee chair) who is a permanent full-time faculty member from the student’s program; 2) that the thesis/project advisor and the student recommend, for approval by the Graduate Coordinator, a thesis/project committee comprising at least three members; 3) that the other two members may be from the student’s program or from another department or college within Cal Poly. One of the two committee members may be from an organization that sponsored the thesis/project undertaking.

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION A comprehensive examination is one of the possible culminating experiences for the master’s degree and assesses the student’s ability to integrate knowledge, show critical and independent thinking, and demonstrate mastery of the subject matter. The results of the examination should provide evidence of these abilities and achievement. A record of the examination questions and responses shall be maintained in accordance with the records retention policy of the CSU. It is the responsibility of the academic department supporting the graduate program to retain copies of comprehensive exams for a minimum of 2 years.

THESIS DEFENSE CHECKLIST (complete in order listed below): 1. Complete a draft of your thesis and submit to your advisor for review and feedback. Be sure to check the Master’s Thesis and Project Formatting Guidelines available on the Graduate Education website, as well as the Master’s Thesis Submission Process — 2. Edit thesis and submit a copy to your committee members two weeks before your defense. 3. Schedule your defense date/time and reserve a conference room. 4. Complete your oral defense and collect all edits/feedback from your committee and update your thesis. Make sure to download, print, and complete the Master’s Thesis / Project / Exam Approval Form and have your committee members sign it. Remember to indicate on the form if you wish to restrict access to your thesis. 5. Obtain a Cashier’s receipt for the digital archive fee (Thesis only) from the Administration Building Cashiers Office and attach it to the Master’s Thesis/Project/Exam Approval Form. You may also pay the archiving fee online (refer to and attach a copy of your confirmation email to the Master’s Thesis Approval Form. Turn in Master’s Thesis/Project/Exam Approval Form with attached receipt to the Graduate Education Office. 6. Upload your thesis to the Digital Commons Library Archiving website. Refer again to policies/thesis.html. Once your thesis has been uploaded, an automatic notification will be sent to the Graduate Education Coordinator, Meredith Rubin. After the Coordinator has reviewed your thesis, you will be contacted with any necessary formatting edits. When all of the suggested edits have been made, the Coordinator will post (publish) your thesis, sign your Thesis Approval Form, and forward the form to the Office of the Registrar (Evaluations) for review of your eligibility to graduate. Note: a student must submit a Master’s Thesis/Project/Exam Approval Form, a receipt for the Master’s Thesis Fee, and a thesis or project to Digital Commons by the following dates in order to be considered eligible to graduate in the current quarter, assuming all other academic requirements for the degree have been satisfied.




Winter 2016


Spring 2016


Summer 2016


BINDING OPTIONS FOR THESIS An optional step is having a paper copy of your thesis bound for your own use. Graduate Education does not require a paper submission. You can contact binding vendors, such as HF Group’s online Thesis On Demand binding service, directly. Kennedy Library no longer requires deposit of bound copies.

THESIS AUTHOR’S RIGHTS As the author of the thesis, you retain all rights to the work, granting the university a non-exclusive license upon deposit in the DigitalCommons@CalPoly. The license confirms that you, as the creator and contributor of your work, grant the university permission to share your work in an open-access digital environment, which is intended for educational purposes. You and any co-authors retain all intellectual property rights to your work. If you submit material for which you do not own copyright, you certify that you have obtained permission from the copyright owner to make your materials available online. You are giving the university permission to make your work available to all users and to migrate it to accessible formats as necessary. Requests for use of your work for purposes other than education will be referred back to you as copyright holder. Authors who wish to share their work for specific purposes while retaining their copyrights may do so by using an appropriate Creative Commons License. For more information about author rights and sharing your research with other scholars, please see the Library’s web pages on scholarly communication and copyright. No proprietary information should be included in a thesis or project report.

DIGITAL COMMONS: RESTRICTED ACCESS TO THESIS Two levels of electronic distribution are available. A student, in concert with his/her advisor, may choose the level which fits the situation. Open Access (Worldwide) distribution is the first option and is recommended by the University and Library to make the information freely available worldwide. It should be noted that this Open Access option may be viewed by some book or journal publishers as publishing the work. Please note: Kennedy Library’s Interlibrary Services Department (ILS) receives national and international borrow requests for Cal Poly Theses & Projects. Open Access designated theses will be distributed to satisfy relevant borrow requests. Restricted Access theses will not be distributed through ILS until the restricted access time period lapses. The second option is to embargo (restrict) the thesis for patent, proprietary, or data sensitivity reasons. The student, with the written approval of his/her advisor, may select “restricted access” distribution for the thesis project. During the submission process, the student will have the ability to indicate the initial embargo time period. Theses or projects holding the status of “Restricted Access” will receive a bibliographic record in the Library Catalog, and a brief bibliographic display will be available in the DigitalCommons@CalPoly. 12

“Restricted Access” status is designed to secure the work, even disallowing access to the Cal Poly community. This procedure addresses situations such as when a patent application is planned or when proprietary or security interests are at stake. A thesis or project under the “Restricted Access” status will be placed on a secured server, but the file will not be made visible or available. Only the descriptive data (author, title, abstract, and basic information about the submission) will be publicly visible. The status of “Restricted Access” will lapse after 1 or 3 years depending on the restriction initially determined by the student and his/her advisor. The student may contact the Graduate Education Office to obtain an extension before the expiration of the initial restriction. After the restriction expires, the document will be moved into Open Access (Worldwide) distribution unless an exception has been granted by the department and/or college/school.

RESEARCH INVOLVING SPECIAL CONDITIONS Research that involves the use of human subjects, vertebrate animals, hazardous materials, or information and materials subject to export-control regulations requires special campus review before the study begins. If your research involves any of these special conditions, check with your Graduate Coordinator and the Academic Department of your program for procedures.

PLAGIARISM Plagiarism is a direct violation of intellectual and academic honesty. Although it exists in many forms, all plagiarism refers to the same act: representing somebody else’s work as one’s own. The most extreme forms of plagiarism are the use of a paper written by another person or obtained from a commercial source or use of a paper made up of passages copied word for word without acknowledgment. Paraphrasing another author’s ideas or quoting even limited portions of their text without proper citation is also an act of plagiarism. Plagiarism will not be tolerated in this academic community. It will result in a failing grade for the assignment, exam, or task. It may result in a failing grade in the course. See the Cal Poly Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities for further information on plagiarism and disciplinary actions that may be taken. See the Academic Programs website: Academic Policies Cheating & Plagiarism, along with Academic Senate Resolution AS-722-10, Campus Administrative Manual, Section 684.

GPA REQUIREMENTS GRADE POINT CALCULATION FOR GRADUATE DEGREE Satisfaction of the GPA requirement for the conferring of the master’s degree requires a GPA of 3.0 or more in the courses taken in the Formal Study Plan. Repeating a course does not remove a lower letter grade from the overall GPA calculation on the student’s transcript.

ACADEMIC PROBATION A student who is enrolled in a graduate degree program in conditionally classified or classified standing shall be placed on academic probation for failure to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 (grade of B on a scale where A = 4.0) in all courses in the formal program of study for the degree.


A student who has been admitted as post-baccalaureate classified in order to pursue a credential program shall be subjected to academic probation for failure to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 in all units taken in the credential program. A post-baccalaureate unclassified student (one who has not been admitted to either a credential or graduate degree program) shall be subject to academic probation for failure to maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 in all units attempted subsequent to admission to post-baccalaureate standing.

ACADEMIC DISQUALIFICATION A graduate or post-baccalaureate student shall be subject to disqualification if, while on probation, the student fails to achieve a sufficient grade point average to be removed from probationary status. Disqualification may be either from further registration in the program or from further enrollment at the University as determined by the student’s College Dean. Notification of disqualification is made by the program’s College Dean.

ADMINISTRATIVE ACADEMIC DISQUALIFICATION A graduate student may also be placed on probation or may be disqualified by appropriate campus authorities for unsatisfactory scholastic progress regardless of grade point average. Such actions shall be limited to those arising from repeated withdrawal, failure to progress toward an educational objective, or noncompliance with an academic requirement, and shall be consistent with guidelines issued by the Chancellor’s Office.

GRADUATION WRITING REQUIREMENT Executive Order 0665 (1997) from the CSU Chancellor’s Office states: Campuses shall require demonstration of writing proficiency prior to the award of a graduate degree. In accordance with this mandate, all Cal Poly students must demonstrate competency in writing skills as a requirement for graduation. Graduate students seeking a master’s degree should attempt to fulfill the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) during their first quarter of residency. (Note: The GWR requirement does not apply to Certificate Programs.) Note: Students who do not complete the GWR will not be Advanced to Candidacy. To satisfy the GWR, graduate students should review their program requirements and determine which of the following three options is appropriate: 1. Pass the Writing Proficiency Exam (WPE). Note: Graduate students may request to take the WPE at a remote location by contacting the University Writing & Rhetoric Center (UWRC) Office. 2. Earn both a grade of C or better (C- or below does not qualify) AND certification of writing proficiency based on a 500 to 800 word in-class essay in a GWR-approved upper-division course selected from the eligible classes listed on PASS. The GWR-approved course may be taken on a CR/NC basis, but the required final course grade of C or better must still be earned in order to satisfy the GWR component of the class. (Note: It is not recommended that graduate students take GWR-approved courses on a CR/NC basis.)


3. Petition to substitute alternate criteria. The Writing & Rhetoric Center Office may consider the following as substitution for the GWR: •

A bachelor’s degree from a U.S.-accredited college or university that has an upper-division graduation writing requirement.

A grade of a C or better in an upper-division, writing intensive course equivalent to Cal Poly’s GWR-approved courses at another U.S.-accredited, 4-year college or university.

A score of 5 or higher on the analytical writing section of the GRE.

A master’s or doctoral degree from a U.S.- accredited institution.

Students petitioning to substitute alternate criteria for the GWR must complete and submit the petition form (available on the UWRC webpage, along with the required additional documentation to the UWRC Office, Agriculture Building (10), Room 130. Further information on the GWR may be obtained by calling the UWRC at #805.756.2066, or on their webpage.

CONTINUOUS ENROLLMENT Effective Fall Quarter 2009, all graduate students are required to maintain continuous enrollment from the time of first enrollment in a graduate program until completion of their degree (regardless of Catalog cycle). Continuous enrollment is defined as being enrolled during Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters each year. In addition, all graduate students must be enrolled during the quarter in which they graduate. Therefore, a student graduating summer quarter must be enrolled during the summer. Students can maintain continuous enrollment by: 1. Being enrolled as a regular student, 2. Obtaining approval for military service, educational, or medical leave prior to the quarter when such a leave would begin, or 3. Registering in a special course designated for this purpose during quarters in which they are not regularly enrolled. The special course, GS 597, is listed in the University catalog and is taken through Cal Poly Extended Education. GS 597 is a one-unit course, offered credit/no credit; credits in GS 597 do not count toward meeting degree requirements. Students who fail to fulfill this continuous enrollment requirement will not be permitted to graduate — even if all degree requirements have been completed — until payment has been made for all quarters of non-enrollment. This policy will not be enforced for any student who completed all of his/her course work and thesis/project work and left Cal Poly before Fall Quarter of 2009 or if a student has an approved Leave of Absence. Any student who left Cal Poly (did not enroll in any courses) after Fall 2009 without completing their degree requirements are responsible for paying the continuous enrollment fees. There is NO maximum (or cap) on the number of quarters that students will be responsible for maintaining continuous enrollment. Enrolling in one unit of GS 597 each quarter entitles students to use of the library, access to their Cal Poly portal, use of their Cal Poly email account, and access to their thesis advisor and committee members. In addition, they can procure a Cal Poly ID card and extracurricular services like the fitness center. The GS 597 fees are used to support graduate programs at Cal Poly.


LEAVES OF ABSENCE Educational, medical, and military leaves are permitted if students meet the eligibility requirements and submit a Leave of Absence form with the required signatures and documentation to the Office of the Registrar. An educational leave for a graduate student must be approved by the Graduate Program Coordinator and the Director of Graduate Education.

THE 7-YEAR RULE The time allowed to complete all coursework in the formal study plan, including thesis, project, or comprehensive exam, is seven years. The University, at its option and in exceptional cases, may extend the time frame. Students who wish to extend the seven-year limit must submit a Petition for Special Consideration to Graduate Education and the Office of the Registrar explaining the reasons why the extension is necessary. Include evidence to support your currency in the field of study. Include your Formal Study Plan and indicate if any additional coursework needs to be completed as part of this request for extension. If the extension is necessary for completion of your culminating experience, please indicate if this is a thesis, project, or comprehensive exam. Indicate your progress towards completion of your thesis, project, or exam and when you expect to complete your degree requirements.

RETURNING STUDENTS Matriculated students who have not registered for three consecutive quarters (Fall, Winter, Spring) and have not been on an approved Leave of Absence must file an application for re-admission. The application fee must accompany the application for re-admission. Summer Quarter is a regular quarter and is counted in determining the length of absence.

COMMENCEMENT SPRING (JUNE) OR MIDYEAR (DECEMBER) Graduate Coordinators must confirm that all of their students are on the graduation list by early October for Midyear commencement and the beginning of April for Spring commencement ceremonies. Students must have submitted their Request for Graduation Evaluation Form by the end of the quarter before the quarter in which they plan to graduate. Students can check with Graduate Education to verify that they are on the list, which will ensure that their names are included in the commencement bulletin. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that all the necessary forms have been signed and approved. Once you’ve submitted your Request for Graduation Evaluation form indicating the quarter you plan on graduating, you’ll be on the list for commencement kept at the bookstore. This will allow you to pick up your cap and gown and order tickets for the ceremony. Note that you are not officially a Cal Poly graduate until you have completed ALL degree requirements satisfactorily and have received a “Congratulations Letter” from the Office of the Registrar, Evaluations Unit.


ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE Master’s degree candidates who are academically in the top 10 percent of their program and are recommended by their Graduate Program Coordinator are eligible to be recognized for Academic Excellence. Nominations must be approved by the appropriate College Dean. If approved, the student will be permitted to wear “honor cords” at commencement.

GRADUATION WITH DISTINCTION Graduation with Distinction will be determined by the Registrar’s Office after a student’s final Formal Study Plan has been reviewed and approved. It will NOT be awarded at the December or June Commencement Ceremonies. The designation will appear on a student’s final transcript and diploma. The criterion for graduation with distinction is defined on the Office of Registrar’s website and in the Cal Poly catalog: “a student whose grade point average is 3.75 or better, may upon the recommendation of the college dean be designated as ‘Graduating with Distinction’.”

JUNE ONLY COMMENCEMENT AWARDS Faculty in each program of study should make recommendations for the Outstanding Graduate Student and the Outstanding Graduate Thesis awards to the appropriate Graduate Coordinator. For a program having more than 50 students, two nominations per award can be made. Finalists for the awards may be asked to supply additional information or material to a review committee appointed by the Director of Graduate Education. The students selected for these awards will be recognized at the Spring Commencement ceremony.


CRITERIA FOR OUTSTANDING GRADUATE STUDENT AWARD Master’s Degree candidates who have received degrees or who are receiving degrees between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016 are eligible for this award. For the Outstanding Graduate Student Award, the following criteria will be evaluated: • Academic Excellence • Creative Achievement • Scholarly/Professional Potential • Service to the University Community • Other notable or outstanding characteristics which make the nominee exceptional. For the Outstanding Student Award, the nomination must include: 1) a letter of recommendation addressing EACH of the FIVE criteria listed above and 2) the student’s resume. Supporting materials may be included but should not exceed three pages.

CRITERIA FOR OUTSTANDING THESIS AWARD All students who have completed a thesis (oral defense & submitted written thesis to GradEd Office) between April 1, 2015 and March 28, 2016 are eligible for this award. The following qualities will be considered: • Creativity and Originality •


• Significance* • Clarity of the Exposition •


• Overall Quality *Extra weight will be given to a thesis (or some portion thereof) that has been published in a peer-reviewed journal and/or presented at a conference. For the Outstanding Thesis Award, the nomination must include: 1) a letter of recommendation addressing EACH of the SIX criteria listed above and 2) the student’s resume. Supporting materials may be included but should not exceed three pages.

BLENDED DEGREE PROGRAM (BMS) Cal Poly has received permission from the CSU Chancellor’s Office (AA-2012-01) to offer programs that award a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree at the same time. The Blended Program started in 1998 and completed the Pilot Period in 2005. The Academic Programs and Graduate Education Office at Cal Poly have approved the following majors to offer Blended degrees: B.S. Program B.S. Aerospace Engineering B.S. Architectural Engineering B.S. Landscape Architecture

M.S. Program M.S. Aerospace M.S. Architecture w/ specialization in Engineering M.S. City & Regional Planning 18

B.S. Biomedical Engineering B.S. Civil & Environmental Engineering B.S. Computer Science B.S. Computer Engineering B.S. Software Engineering B.S. Electrical Engineering B.S. General Engineering

M.S. Biomedical M.S. Civil & Environmental M.S. Computer Science M.S. Computer Science M.S. Computer Science M.S. Electrical M.S. Biomedical M.S. Engineering M.S. Industrial M.S. Engineering w/ specialization in Integrated Technology Management M.S. Industrial M.S. Engineering w/ specialization in Integrated Technology Management M.S. Mechanical M.S. Mathematics M.S. Polymers & Coatings M.S. Polymers & Coatings

B.S. Industrial Engineering

B.S. Manufacturing Engineering

B.S. Mechanical Engineering B.S. Mathematics B.S. Chemistry B.S. Biochemistry

Any student who is not part of one of these approved degrees must get approval from Academic Affairs and the Graduate Education Office for admission. Graduate Programs that want to develop an approved blended program must work with Academic Affairs and the Graduate Education Office to establish an approved blended program. Academic Objective: To provide an accelerated route to a graduate professional degree, with simultaneous award of both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Blended programs allow for students to take 4XX/5XX level courses during their senior year that may be part of their graduate formal study plan; any courses that are not part of their undergraduate requirements can be applied to their graduate formal study plan. It also enables students doing a thesis/project to integrate their capstone senior experience with their graduate culminating event. Academic Units Required for Completion: Under Title V, a minimum of 225 total units are required (Bachelor’s 180 + Master’s 45) for receiving a combined (blended) degree. A Blended Program can allow double counting equal to the number of units > 180 but not to exceed 9 units. All Blended Program students must complete their senior project required courses and submit a senior project report as required by their undergraduate program. Transition from Undergrad to Grad Status: Per the CSU memorandum, at the end of the first academic term in which Blended Program students have earned at least 180 units toward program completion, the campus will change the student level code (Plan Code) to signify graduate standing. Units considered toward meeting this degree objective status threshold may include either undergraduate or graduate, and shall include only those units that count toward satisfying either the bachelor’s or master’s requirements in the Blended Program. To ensure proper awarding of degree credit, all lower-division work should be completed prior to changing to graduate degree objective status. Please note that transitioning to graduate status may impact a student’s financial aid status and will change their tuition rate. Admission to Blended Programs: Students should apply to be accepted once they have reached senior status. Applications must be approved before the student has completed 180 degree applicable units. Individual graduate programs will determine the criteria for admission, and the criteria should be approved by the program’s Graduate Coordinator, Department Chair, and the College Dean. A copy of the criteria must be forwarded to the Director of Graduate Education. The Graduate Education Office should be notified when a student is accepted into a BMS program. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA. There are no 19

conditional admittances to a BMS program. Students who are accepted into a BMS program should not be required to complete any additional courses other than those identified as required by the program. Once admitted to graduate standing, a student must maintain an overall 3.0 GPA or better in courses that appear on their Formal Study Plan. Completion of the GWR before being accepted into the BMS program is strongly encouraged but not required. Process to Award Both Degrees: Students must submit the following forms to GradEd with the indicated approval signatures: Working and Final Formal Study Plans, Advancement to Candidacy, Request for Graduation Evaluation, and Thesis/Project/Exam Approval. When all requirements have been met for both degrees, Records re-opens undergraduate matriculation (secondary), posts the undergraduate degree, then completes graduate matriculation (primary). Both degrees are awarded at the same time and recognized at a graduation ceremony. If a student fails to complete his/her master’s requirements but completes all of his/ her undergraduate degree requirements, the undergraduate matriculation can be re-opened in order to grant the bachelor’s degree. The student must submit a PBCO Form and change their degree objective back to their undergraduate program. Graduate Coordinators should advise students to ensure that their joint study plans include completion of all undergraduate degree requirements, including required senior project courses. Any research work should be directed so that a student could submit a senior project report even if the effort does not result in a master’s thesis. Every effort must be made to enable students to satisfy their undergraduate requirements in the event that they choose not to complete their master’s degree. Cross Disciplinary Blended Applicants: Some BMS programs may want to admit students that have an undergraduate degree that is not from the same department as the graduate degree. Only students from the undergraduate degrees listed above may apply to BMS programs. Note that all BMS programs must adhere to the CSU Coded Memorandum objective of providing an accelerated pathway to a master’s degree. Accordingly, the combined program must not require any additional units than those required by the primary degree path. For example, any student accepted to a BMS program must not be required to take any additional courses than the required and electives identified in the Cal Poly Catalog. An undergraduate degree that is not in the same department as the graduate degree might not provide all of the prerequisite requirements of the graduate courses. Prerequisite requirements may be satisfied by taking electives that are approved by the undergraduate curriculum and part of the normal unit count for completion of the undergraduate degree.

REQUESTING APPROVAL FOR A NEW BLENDED PROGRAM All of the information described below should be written in a Memorandum to Academic Programs. The title of the memo should be “A Proposal for a new Blended Program in XXX from the College of YYY.” 1. Faculty from the Department proposing the new blended program must document both undergraduate and graduate curriculums that a student would complete and explain how the combined degrees would provide an accelerated path for students to achieve their professional objectives. •

Outline a typical graduate curriculum flowchart; indicate total number of units required (45 minimum); identify the required and elective courses; be sure the Department is willing to offer sufficient courses to meet the requirements; if electives are from other departments, you must get a concurrence memo for those departments. Note that the number of 5XX courses required to be taught by the home department is a minimum of 27 units.

The combined units that a student must complete for both undergraduate and graduate degrees should not exceed the unit totals listed in the Cal Poly catalog for both degrees. (e.g. if the undergraduate degree is 180 units and the graduate degree is 45 units, then the blended program should not exceed 225 units). 20

Verify that all undergraduate requirements will be completed even if the graduate requirements are not completed.

Define the culminating experience: thesis, project, or exam. If thesis or project, then identify the faculty in the department who are willing to support the required research and serve as advisors. Indicate the sources of funding for supporting the research.

Define the acceptance criteria for admitting students.

Indicate the number of anticipated enrolled students in the program for a typical academic year.

Identify a Graduate Coordinator along with a commitment from the Department to provide assigned time for the role.

Identify the quarter/AY that is being requested for the start of student enrollment for the program.

2. Departments supporting both degrees must review and agree with the proposal. Both Department Chair and Department Curriculum Committee Chair should sign the Memorandum. 3. The College Curriculum Committee and Dean must review and sign the proposal. Please indicate if this blended program will have any impact on the college budget. 4. If there are any Course Modifications or New Course Proposal associated with the program, then the ASCC must review these per standard practices. 5. The proposer of the program must organize a meeting to review the proposal which includes representatives from each of the following administrative offices: 1) Academic Programs, 2) Graduate Education, 3) Office of the Registrar, 4) Admissions, and 5) Financial Aid. This committee will be chaired by the Director of Graduate Education. 6. Once the proposal is reviewed and accepted by the committee, then the Director of Graduate Education will forward the memo along with his/her recommendation to the Associate Vice Provost of Academic Programs. 7. Final approval will rest with the Provost, President, and/or CSU Chancellor’s offices as appropriate.

GRADUATE CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS A graduate-level certificate program offers post-baccalaureate coursework leading to a specific, applied, and focused goal. It may be interdisciplinary and should have some professional application. There are two different types of certificate programs offered by Cal Poly. Both include courses that must be approved by the Academic Senate and are awarded with academic credit that is documented on a Cal Poly transcript. An Academic Certificate Program declares that a student has satisfactorily completed a sequence of advanced academic courses that provide instruction in a stand-alone, coherent body of specialized knowledge. It is designed to meet requirements for professional competence, expand access to specialized knowledge, or meet occupational needs for advanced interdisciplinary work. It consists of 12-24 quarter units (3-6 courses) and may be provided via Special Sessions (self-support) through Extended Education (see Executive Orders 1047 & 1099); it has a formal application process and a distinct matriculation. Graduate Certificate: is comprised of a set of courses that build upon each other to develop a deeper level of expertise in a field of study. Students must follow all of the guidelines as described in AS-726-11 and AS-774-14. Professional Certificate: is a set of individual courses that can be taken in any sequence and provides expertise required in a professional field of employment. Students must follow all the guidelines for Special-Session or Open University courses (CSU EO-1047). 21

The Graduate Certificate requires that a student be matriculated through the Cal Poly Admissions office to enroll in classes, and the certificate the student receives is awarded by the Registrar’s Office. The Professional Certificate does not require a student to be matriculated, and courses are offered through the Extended Education Office. The Professional Certificate is awarded by the Extended Education Office. AS Resolution AS-726-11 March 8, 2011 Specific Requirements for Certificate Programs: • Admission to a Graduate Certificate program requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a major in a relevant field of study. The applicant must have attained a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the last 90 units attempted or have earned a GPA of at least 2.5 in the last degree completed. Work experience may substitute (at the discretion of the program) for the relevancy of the bachelor’s degree and for the minimum GPA requirements. • Admission to a Professional Certificate program requires consent of the instructor, and students must apply on-line. All Professional Certificate applicants must complete an application by following the Interfolio links found next to each Certificate Program on the GradEd website. Applications can be completed anytime throughout the year. Students can be concurrently matriculated in a master’s degree program at Cal Poly and a Professional Certificate program. • A minimum GPA of 3.0 is required for successful completion of either certificate program. Students may not elect to take courses required for the certificate as credit/no credit. A certificate program must be completed within three years. • Students who are enrolled only in either certificate programs are exempt from the continuous enrollment requirement for graduate students. • There is no GWR requirement for either certificate program. • There are NO conditional admissions for either certificate program. •

For Graduate Certificates that utilize on-line courses, international students must still satisfy Cal Poly TOEFL requirements for admission to Cal Poly. Admissions for International students are only during Fall Quarter.

For Professional Certificates that utilize on-line courses, international students who will not attend courses on campus and do not need an F1 VISA do not need to satisfy Cal Poly TOEFL requirement. They can enroll during any quarter.

• Students in Professional Certificate programs are not eligible for financial aid through Cal Poly. • Students must submit both a Final Formal Study Plan and a Request for Graduation Evaluation to the GradEd office to receive either certificate. •

For Graduate Certificate courses, no more than 30% can be taken while not matriculated (EO 1099).

• Only 4 units can be transferred from another school to count towards either certificate program.


FINANCIAL SUPPORT The university has several programs that students can apply for to receive financial support towards their educational goals. Students should contact their Graduate Coordinator or the Graduate Education Office to determine which program will provide the maximum benefit to their academic goals and support a timely completion of their degree. • TA/GA Appointments •

Resident Tuition Waivers

Non-resident Tuition Waivers

• Graduate Equity Fellowships • Graduate Presentation Award • California Pre-Doctoral Program • Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program

TA/GA APPOINTMENTS Cal Poly has launched a program, funded by student success fees, that awards appointments for Teaching Associate (TA) or Graduate Assistant (GA) positions. The goals of the program are as follows: •

Enable top students to join and remain at Cal Poly by providing necessary financial support.

• Support teacher-scholar model by enabling students to do creative works that are either published or presented at an appropriate conference. •

Enable graduate students to develop teaching skills and encourage them to enter the teaching profession at institutions of higher education.

Provide an experience that deepens the student’s mastery of their field of study through the learn-by-doing experience.

The criteria for being selected for one of these positions are as follows: •

For a TA appointment, indicate how the experience will enable you to become a teacher-scholar. Indicate if the class you want to teach is impacted.

For a GA appointment, indicate how this will expedite the completion of your research project/ creative work. Also indicate if any outside collaboration will be supported by the funds. Identify if the results will be published or presented at a conference.

• To receive funds you must have filed a Working Formal Study Plan with the GradEd office. For incoming applicants, awardees must have a Working Formal Study Plan on file by the end of their first quarter of enrollment. • Appointments are limited to a maximum of three quarters in any one academic year. • TA appointments are paid a stipend according to the WTUs assigned to the class. Check with your Grad Coordinator and Department Chair for details. • As a TA, the student can be the instructor of record; however, this is not required. 23

• Certificate and Credential Programs are not eligible for these appointments. • You must be enrolled on a full-time basis (8 units) for each quarter you receive funds. • Students receiving funds must maintain a CPSLO GPA of 3.0 or greater for all quarters they receive funds. •

Blended students are not eligible until they reach 180 units and complete their PBCO.

If you are interested in applying for a TA or GA position, please 1) follow the Interfolio link provided on the GradEd website, 2) identify an advisor and have them upload their recommendation, and 3) discuss the appointment with your Graduate Program Coordinator. TA & GA positions are part of the Unit 11 UAW Collective Bargaining Agreement. Details of these positions are listed below and can be found on the Cal Poly Academic Personnel Website:

Teaching Associate CSU Coded Memorandum HR 2005-30 The Teaching Associate classification provides currently enrolled or admitted CSU graduate students with part-time employment offering practical teaching experience in fields related to their advanced study. They teach university courses and may also assist faculty or teaching staff with various professional and technical activities. Work assignments are closely associated with their program of study or the academic department in which they are enrolled. Range A represents the salary range for CSU graduate students who (1) are currently enrolled or admitted to master’s degree programs and (2) usually teach credit-bearing courses. The Teaching Associate classification is distinguished from the Graduate Assistant and Student Assistant classifications by assignments that primarily involve classroom and laboratory instruction. Responsibility for a course may be vested in the Teaching Associate under the direct supervision of an appropriate faculty member. Teaching Associates typically are responsible for providing classroom and/or laboratory instruction, giving assignments to students, preparing course materials, administering examinations, assessing student performance, tutoring students, and determining course grades. Also, incumbents may assist faculty with field experience, supervision, simulation exercises, and/or research projects. Normally, incumbents in Range A are designated to teach courses at the lower division level. Qualifications: Knowledge of the subject matter of the discipline to which the individual is assigned. Ability to relate well to others within the academic environment and ability to instruct and evaluate students. Evidence of satisfactory achievement in previous academic work. Equivalent to or completion of the requirements for a bachelor’s degree and concurrent admission to or enrollment in a graduate degree program of the university that is related to the discipline to which the individual is assigned.

Graduate Assistant CSU HR 2005-29 Under immediate supervision, the Graduate Assistant assists a regular faculty member or the teaching staff with various professional and technical duties associated generally with the subjects or programs in which the assistant is doing graduate work. This work should not take precedence over the successful completion of the graduate degree program in a timely manner by the student.


The Graduate Assistant is distinguished from those classifications used for undergraduate student help in the instructional program (e.g. those who perform clerical or other routine tasks such as grading examinations, recording grades, etc.), by the following: • Graduate Assistants are provided part-time employment and practical experience in fields related to their advanced study. • Graduate Assistants provide professional non-teaching assistance to faculty members. Graduate Assistant work may involve supervising students in a classroom, workshop, or laboratory (where final responsibility for the class and its entire instruction, including the performance of the Graduate Assistant, is vested in a member of the faculty); training students in the use of equipment or other resources; assisting faculty with research and preparation of course materials; participating in the evaluation of students’ work; tutoring students; and other related work. Graduate Assistants are not responsible for the instructional content of a course, selecting student assignments, planning of examinations, determining the term grade for students, instructing the entire enrollment of a course, or providing the entire instruction of a group of students enrolled in a course. Graduate Assistants may not be employed to assist in a course in which he/she is enrolled, nor should they be consulted regarding the grading of their peers. Qualifications: Knowledge of the subject matter of the discipline in which assigned. Ability to relate well to others within the academic environment; ability to supervise, assist, and train students; and ability to assist faculty in the completion of special projects or research within the discipline. Equivalent to completion of the requirements for a bachelor’s degree and registration in a CSU graduate degree program. Students enrolled in credential programs are not eligible for this position.

RESIDENT TUITION WAIVERS California State University Executive Order 611 allows campus presidents or their designees to waive the State University Fee for graduate students who are employed as Teaching Associates (Class Code 2353 or 2354) or Graduate Assistants (Class Code 2355). The selection criterion includes 1) scholastic performance, 2) research and/or professional experience, and 3) financial need. The waivers are for graduate students enrolled in state supported graduate programs. Tuition waivers will normally be for three consecutive quarters, beginning with the first term of enrollment. Recipients must be engaged in full-time studies towards their degree, which means enrollment in a minimum of 8 units per quarter. Applications must be completed by following the Interfolio link on the GradEd website (under Resources); please check the website for deadlines. All recipients must complete an assessment survey and provide feedback that evaluates the impact of the program on the educational experience.

NON-RESIDENT TUITION WAIVERS California State University Executive Order 605 allows campus presidents or their designees to reduce the tuition for non-resident graduate students to the resident rate. The waivers provide financial support for highly qualified applicants from outside of the state of California. The selection criterion includes 1) scholastic performance, 2) research and/or professional experience, 3) contribution to diversity (e.g. ethnic, gender, geographical or unique skills), and 4) financial need. The waivers are for graduate students enrolled in state supported graduate programs only, not self-support graduate programs. Tuition waivers will normally be for three consecutive quarters, beginning with the first term of enrollment. Recipients must be engaged in full-time studies towards their degree, which means enrollment in a minimum of 8 units per quarter. Applications must be completed by following the Interfolio link on the GradEd website (under Resources); please check the website for deadlines. All recipients must complete an assessment survey and provide feedback that evaluates the impact of the program on the educational experience. 25

GRADUATE EQUITY FELLOWSHIPS This program seeks to increase the diversity of students completing master’s degree programs in the CSU. It provides fellowships for economically disadvantaged CSU students, especially from groups that are underrepresented among graduate degree recipients in their areas of study. This program also promotes faculty mentoring and research opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria 1. Academic Qualifications: You must either be making progress toward a master’s degree or have been accepted to a master’s program at Cal Poly and satisfied all criteria for admission. For details concerning admission requirements, consult the current Cal Poly catalog, or contact the Graduate Coordinator for your program. As a fellowship recipient, you will be required to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or better and to engage in full-time studies toward your degree, which means you must enroll in a minimum of eight units per quarter of 400/500 level courses. 2. Residency: You must qualify as a California resident by meeting the CSU requirements for payment of in-state fees. 3. Financial Need: You must demonstrate a minimum financial need of $1,000, by filing a free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must also comply with all standard requirements for receiving financial aid at Cal Poly. 4. Duration: The maximum grant period for any individual student is two years (i.e., six quarters).

Application Procedure If you wish to apply to this program, please follow the Interfolio link provided on the GradEd website (under Resources); please check the website for deadlines.

GRADUATE PRESENTATION AWARD The Graduate Presentation Award provides financial support for a graduate student who is presenting their thesis or research at a professional conference. This award is to help support conference registration fees, airfare, or lodging costs of up to $500 per student per academic year. The student must be enrolled in at least 1 course at Cal Poly at the time of application. Travel must occur within the same academic year as the application is submitted. If you have any questions please call (805) 756–2328 or email Qualifications: •

Must be a full-time graduate student at Cal Poly.

For domestic conferences only, not international.

Must be listed as an author on the paper/ poster to be presented (not for just attending the conference); submit abstract.

Travel covered: airfare, hotel, conference registration (no auto mileage or food).

Receipts must be submitted with travel claims.

Email of approval from faculty thesis adviser.

Applications for the Graduate Presentation Award should be submitted through the Interfolio link on the GradEd. 26

CALIFORNIA PRE_DOCTORAL PROGRAM The California Pre-Doctoral program is designed to increase the diversity of the pool from which the California State University draws its faculty. It does so by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. A special emphasis is laced on increasing the number of CSU students who enter graduate programs at one of the University of California campuses. Each of the applicants selected will be designated a Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar and will work closely with a CSU faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan which leads ultimately to enrollment in a doctoral program. The plan should be tailored to the specific goals and career objectives of the student. In addition the program provides: 1. Travel Funds for the student and faculty sponsor to visit U.S. doctoral-granting institutions and/or to attend a professional meeting appropriate to the student’s development. 2. Funds for other related activities, such as student membership in professional organizations and subscriptions to journals, graduate school application and test fees, GRE preparation, and the cost of minor research materials. 3. A Summer Research Internship opportunity at a University of California campus or other major research university, fully funded by the Pre-Doctoral Program, so that the Scholar can participate in doctoral-level research prior to enrolling in a Ph.D. program.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria Applicants to the California Pre-Doctoral program must be upper-division or master’s degree students who are enrolled at a CSU institution during Spring Quarter of the year of application and who will also be enrolled at a CSU campus for at least two quarter terms of the next academic year. Applicants will be selected on the basis of three major criteria: potential for success in completing a doctoral program; probable effectiveness of the student/faculty plan; and level of economic and educational disadvantages. All applicants must be either U.S. citizens or permanent residents at the time of application. Current or previous Pre-Doctoral Scholars are not eligible to re-apply. Each applicant must have a faculty sponsor from the student’s home campus who will be available for the duration of the plan specified in the application. The program is designed for students interested in obtaining research doctorates. Students interested in obtaining professional degrees (law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, or an MBA degree) are not eligible. If you wish to apply to this program, obtain an application from the Graduate Education Office 116-213, or phone 805-756-2328. You may also download an application from the Graduate Programs website at

CHANCELLOR’S DOCTORAL INCENTIVE PROGRAM (CDIP) This program provides student loans to a limited number of individuals pursuing full-time doctoral degrees at accredited universities throughout the United States. After participants receive their doctoral degrees and obtain a qualifying position in the CSU, a portion of their loan from this program will be forgiven every year. More information can be found at:


OPEN UNIVERSITY Open University is a mechanism whereby students who are not matriculated at Cal Poly can enroll in state supported classes, on a space-available basis, by paying Open University fees to Extended Education.

ACADEMIC RIGHTS & RESPONSIBILITIES Cal Poly is committed to creating and maintaining an intellectual community designed to promote educational goals. In this community, students are entitled to a classroom environment where they have the academic freedom to express their ideas and opinions freely, to learn from competent and professional faculty, and to build critical thinking and reasoning skills. For a full statement of the policy regarding academic rights, see the section entitled Student Academic Rights & Responsibilities within Policies on the Rights and Responsibilities of Individuals.

ACADEMIC DISHONESTY The value of an academic degree is based upon the reputation of the university. Tolerating academic misconduct ultimately harms that reputation. The Standards for Student Conduct require that students who witness academic dishonesty notify their instructor, department chair, or the Office of Student Rights & Responsibilities. Disciplinary sanctions can be imposed for “encouraging, permitting, or assisting another to do any act that could subject him or her to discipline” [Title 5, Article 2, Section 41301 (b) (20)]. Academic integrity is essential to the educational process. Traditional academic practices require that faculty members address cases of academic dishonesty in the classroom. Executive Order 1073, Article III, K, Cases Involving Academic Dishonesty, insists that, in addition, CSU faculty members report any infractions to a central location so that a student can be held accountable for multiple academic violations, and the campus can recognize any patterns of misconduct. The resolution of academic dishonesty cases seeks a balance between encouraging a student’s professional development and upholding the standards of the academic community. The faculty member can recommend that OSRR either provide a written warning to the student or file formal charges. OSRR ultimately evaluates the merits of the allegation according to the student conduct process and determines appropriate sanctions, if warranted, based on the specific facts of the case.


GENERAL 1. Purpose: The University is committed to providing an intellectual environment in which all members of the academic community, whether they are faculty engaged in life-long professional development, students pursuing educational objectives, or staff dedicated to their own career goals, learn to the fullest extent possible. The University also recognizes and values creativity and innovation as part of this learning process. Similarly, the University recognizes the importance of, and wishes to encourage, the transfer of new knowledge, generated in the University, to the private sector for the public good. At the same time, as a publicly funded institution, the University must be a good steward of the public resources provided to it, and must safeguard against the use of public funds for private gain. 28

2. Scope: This policy addresses the rights to, interest in, and protection and transfer of intellectual property created by University faculty, staff, and students. Issues not directly considered in this policy, including disagreements concerning its application or interpretation, will be addressed and resolved consistent with applicable law and collective bargaining agreements. In the event of a conflict between this policy and the collective bargaining agreements, the bargaining agreements shall prevail. Policies affecting the use of the University’s names or symbols are covered elsewhere. 3. Governing Principles: The following principles underlie this policy and should guide its application and interpretation: Academic Freedom and Preeminence of Scholarly Activities. The missions of teaching and scholarship have preeminence over that of the transfer and commercialization of research results. The University’s commitment to its educational mission is primary, and this policy does not diminish the right and obligation of faculty members to disseminate the results of research and creative activity for scholarly purposes. 4. Equity and Fair Play: This policy sets forth general principles and procedures, and it has not been designed to address every conceivable circumstance. Under principles of fair play, the inventor(s)/creator(s) and the University mutually operate so that no one will unfairly exploit inadvertent errors or omissions in the written policy. If the need for corrections or exceptions to this policy is identified, appropriate recommendations shall be made to the President. 5. Mutual Trust and Goodwill: Throughout all phases of the creation and implementation of this policy, it is assumed that all members of the University community will be guided by a sense of mutual trust and goodwill. In the event of future controversies regarding the rights to intellectual property, the commercialization of particular property, or in the interpretation of this policy, all parties should recognize that mutual trust and goodwill were fundamental tenets in the forging of this policy. 6. Faculty Governance and Review: University faculty, through the Intellectual Property Review Committee (see 3A.2), shall play a primary role in the establishment and periodic revision of this policy, and in the review and recommendation of resolutions to disputes arising under it. This committee shall have a majority of members who are faculty without administrative appointments, and shall be chaired by a faculty member. 7. Transparency: The principle of transparency promotes both the disclosure and avoidance of actual and apparent conflicts of interest associated with external commercial activities. 8. Reasonableness in Licensing: When the University owns intellectual property under this policy, the inventor or creator shall normally play an active role in the entire licensing process, including consultation and/or approval of licensing decisions, particularly where the inventor/creator has no financial interest in the licensee. Otherwise, such participation shall be consistent with conflict of interest regulations or University policy. 9. Policy Application: This policy takes effect immediately and supersedes all prior intellectual property policies.



Disability Resource Center

Bldg 65

Bldg 124

Rm 212

Front Desk

(805) 756-1281

(805) 756- 1395

Parking & Public Transportation (UPD)

Health & Counseling Center

Bldg 36

Bldg 124

Front Desk

Front Desk

(805) 756-2281

(805) 756-1211

Career Services

Library Resources (for Grad Students)

Bldg 124

Bldg 35

Front Desk

Rm 301

(805) 756-2501

(805) 756-2649

Performing Arts & Theater

Sports Information

Bldg 6

*see website for sports information

General (805) 756-7222

Student Ombuds Services

Children’s Center

805-756-1380 Bldg 133

International Center

Front Desk

(805) 756-1267

Bldg 38 Rm 145

Recreation Center

(805) 756-1477 Bldg 43

Center for Teaching & Learning in Library

Front Desk

(805) 756-1366

Bldg 35 Rm 209 (805) 756-7002


Cal Poly Graduate Education Handbook 2015-2016  

Information, requirements, and useful links for Cal Poly graduate students.

Cal Poly Graduate Education Handbook 2015-2016  

Information, requirements, and useful links for Cal Poly graduate students.